Arbitrator in Ryerson case stipulates that course surveys cannot measure teaching effectiveness for promotion, tenure

July 16, 2018

A recent arbitration award between the Ryerson Faculty Association and Ryerson University has set a significant precedent by stipulating that the university cannot use faculty course surveys (FCS) for the purposes of measuring teaching effectiveness for promotion or tenure. As indicators of student experience and satisfaction, arbitrator William Kaplan explains that student evaluations of teaching are important to the mission of the university and can indicate engagement and satisfaction, but that they make imperfect indicators of teaching effectiveness as best, and are “downright biased and unreliable at worst.” Among other directions, the arbitrator has ordered that the Collective Agreement be amended to ensure that FCS are not used in measuring teaching effectiveness for promotion or tenure. CanLII